Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Tran Hong Ha
During the meeting on September 5, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Ministry of Industry and Trade, and people’s committees of Hanoi, Hung Yen, Bac Ninh and Hai Duong discussed the pollution problem in the Bac Hung Hai River which has badly affected the agricultural activities in the northern provinces.
Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Tran Hong Ha said Bac Hung Hai River played an important role in agricultural irrigation in many areas, however, it now also worked as a sewer for craft villages, factories and household waste. Combining with climate change effects, the river has been severely polluted and the irrigation system has been damaged.
Meanwhile, the responsibility over the river is still unclear.
Ha asked the local authorities to review the function of Bac Hung Hai River, collect and classify solid waste on the riverbanks. Businesses must make a commitment to install waste treatment and monitoring systems before discharging into the river.
“The deadline is one year. If they can’t fulfil the commitment, their operation will be shut down,” Ha said.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development Bac Hung Hai irrigation system is surrounded by four major rivers including the Red River, Thai Binh River, Duong River and Luoc River. The urbanisation rate along those rivers is extremely high so violations are also high and complicated.
Hanoi People’s Committee has asked the ministries to issue standards and planning to deal with the waste treatment problem. The authorities and ministries agreed to set up a steering committee to protect and manage Bac Hung Hai River and its irrigation system.
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment will submit the report for prime ministerial approval and ask for funding to install a monitoring system in several provinces. Dumping sites will be banned along Bac Hung Hai River.